Supporters and opponents of Egypt’s toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsy began rival rallies in Cairo on Thursday, the first day of the Muslim festival of Id ul-Fitr.

Hundreds of anti-Morsy protesters prayed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to mark the holiday.

Morsy opponents also gathered outside the presidential palace in eastern Cairo where they set off celebratory fireworks and carried pictures of army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, who led the Islamist leader’s overthrow.

The Muslim Brotherhood has condemned the Egyptian army’s overthrow of the first democratically elected president as a coup and vowed to continue protesting until he is restored to office.

The Islamist group’s followers gathered in the area of Rabaa al-Adawiya in north-eastern Cairo and al-Nahda Square south of the capital, to support weeks-long sit-ins to demand Morsy’s reinstatement.

The government has threatened to clear out the pro-Morsi sit-ins, describing them as violent and unlawful.

Foreign mediation efforts to defuse the political crisis have failed, raising fears of a bloody showdown between Morsi’s supporters and security forces.

More than 200 people, mainly Brotherhood followers, have been killed since Morsy’s toppling on July 3.

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